Beware, dear tourists and kind people who may not know better. The New York Post writes of a scammer walking among us in sheep’s clothing! (Actually, he’s been arrested, and he was probably wearing a suit, but one should still be wary of copycats.) Olivier Rey, 48 years old and Swiss, had been targeting people with a sob story outside the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, telling them he’d lost his credit card in a cab and needed help so he could check in. By help, he meant their credit cards — just for an imprint, though, he’d get a replacement card the next day, and they’d never get charged. Amazingly, three of them handed the cards over.
At least one of those tourists was from Minnesota.
Rey profited more than $41,000 and lived at the hotel for nearly two months (apparently the staff didn’t notice his various names and credit cards) until he was busted when the bills came in and the nice people who’d helped him turned him in.
Gary Koelling, one of Rey’s victims-turned-narc (and, in fact, the Minnesotan), told the Post, “You feel stupid, you feel taken advantage of.”
But, seriously, we can think of absolutely no reason you should give a stranger your credit card. Unless, of course, you’re buying something for yourself. Let this be a lesson to us all.
Suite life a ‘scam’ [NYP]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2011